Our theme for this month: “Changing the tone of the conversation”
Our Bible verse for today: “Don’t participate in the fruitless works of darkness, but instead expose them.” Ephesians 5:11 (CSB)
Our thought for today: “We have to speak-up”
In Ephesians 5:11 the Apostle Paul gives us two directives regarding our response to things that are obviously dark, evil, sinful. First, we are not to participate in such things. Second, we are to expose them for what they are. We have to speak-up.
“The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.” That quote is commonly attributed to the philosopher Edmund Burke and it speaks to a growing problem in the Christian world. Christians are becoming increasingly fearful and timid about speaking-up, so they are remaining silent. Because the cultural landscape today seems to be super-charged with anger, animosity, and even outright hatred, and because you can probably count on receiving a fair amount of blowback if you publically proclaim unpopular views, many Christians are choosing instead to remain silent.
In their great little book “Redeeming How We Talk”, authors Ken Wytsma and A.J. Swoboda write about how in ancient times, maps designated unexplored regions of the world with the phrase “Here be dragons”. It was a warning to sailors and explorers not to go to those regions because dragons and other monsters were rumored to live there. It was safer to just avoid those places and stick to the areas known to be safe.
Many Christians today view some regions of the cultural landscape in our society with the idea of “Here be dragons”, and it’s safer to just avoid those areas. But Biblically we aren’t free to do that. We have to go there and do battle with the dragons. We have to contend for Biblical truth.
My new book, “Getting Along without Going Along: Biblical Sexual ethics in an age of controversy and conflict” was written to help equip Christians to speak to the difficult issues of our age with boldness and confidence, but also with kindness and grace. The book has now been released and is available for sale at Oak Hill Baptist Church. Soon it will also be available for purchase online as well. If you would like to purchase a copy before then, and if you are not near Oak Hill Baptist Church, you can send a check for $12.95 plus $2.95 shipping and handling to Oak Hill Baptist Church, 3036 Genesis Road, Crossville, TN 38571. Be sure to include a note that the check is for a copy of the book.
As the followers of Jesus we do have to speak-up for the cause of Christ and for Biblical principles. Lies need to be exposed. Truth needs to be spoken. We are to do so boldly and with confidence, but also with kindness and with grace.